Tuesday 29 January 2019

Super-easy food swaps to make this year the healthiest yet!

With the help of a nutritionist we've rounded up the best food swaps to kick off the new year. Source: Getty
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or make better food choices, sticking to a diet isn’t easy. In fact, cutting out the things we love often means we don’t keep up the efforts we make for very long.
So, we asked a nutritionist to share some healthy food swaps, so you can improve your diet without depriving yourself of your favourite foods. With the help of Samantha Gemmell we’ve rounded up the best food swaps to kick off the new year.

Avo good time without butter

It’s no secret that avocados are fantastic for your health and eating just one of the fruits per week could reap multiple health benefits. But did you know you can use avocado in your baking too? In fact, it’s a great substitute for butter.
Many baked recipes, such as chocolate cakes and brownies, will work just as well using mashed avocado — although you might want to think twice before adding avocado to something like a sponge cake! To work out how much avocado you need for your recipe, simply halve the amount of butter that is called for in the ingredients list. If you’re a bit sceptical about swapping butter for avocado, there are plenty of specific recipes online that are specifically made to have avocado instead of butter.
Of course avo is also great on toast, crackers and in salads where it can be used in lieu of cheese. Avocado not only adds a massive health boost to your diet, but also lowers the calorie count by a lot. For example, 250g of butter contains 1,750 calories, while 250g of avocado only contains 400 calories.
This superfood is loaded with health benefits. Source: Pexels
This tasty green superfood is loaded with health benefits. Source: Pexels

Potato for sweet potato

Potatoes are a staple for many Aussies, but switching them out for sweet potatoes can make a huge difference in your diet. Although potatoes eaten alone aren’t bad for you, Gemmell says it’s the way people prepare potatoes that ruins their reputation.
“People are more likely to consume potato in less healthy ways and form an unhealthy relationship with the vegetable as a result,” she says.
Of course sweet potatoes can also be treated like regular potatoes and baked with oil and salt or mashed with butter and milk, but their basic nutritional level offers a much healthier starting point. Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than white potatoes, meaning they release energy slower and don’t cause your body’s blood sugar levels to spike as fast as a regular potato would. This also makes them a good option for diabetics who need to carefully control their blood sugar.
Sweet potatoes are also packed with nutrients such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and potassium, making them a fantastic addition to a healthy diet.
In addition, they higher in fibre than white potatoes, which Gemmell notes helps to “feed healthy gut bacteria and aid with digestion”.

White bread ain’t the right bread

Switching to whole wheat bread is one of the easiest ways to improve your diet and up your fibre intake, Gemmell explains.
Unfortunately white bread doesn’t provide much on the nutritional front. During the milling process, white flour is stripped to remove the grain’s bran and germ — removing these elements takes away the fibre, protein, iron and B vitamins. What remains on your plate is a quick-acting carb that has the potential to set you up for cravings a few hours later.
Whole wheat bread on the other hand contains the entire grain, and is a rich source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins and fibre.
“More fibre means steadier blood sugar and energy levels, and it also keeps your gut happy and healthy,” she adds.
Switching to whole wheat bread is one of the easiest way to lose weight and up your fibre intake. Source: Pexels
Switching to whole wheat bread is one of the easiest way to lose weight and up your fibre intake. Source: Pexels

Pasta for zucchini noodles

You’ve probably heard of the spiralized trend that transforms your favourite veggies into healthy pasta substitutes. If you want to enjoy pasta without the added calories (or guilt), zucchini can be a great substitute.
In fact, a typical plate of spaghetti contains about 150 calories, while a bowl of zucchini noodles has just 84 calories. It’s also a great alternative for those who need to cut gluten out of their diets.
Zucchini not only lowers the calorie count, but is also packed with nutrients such as antioxidants and vitamins that have anti-inflammatory properties, which can improve heart health.
“It’s also a great source of vitamin C, and contains magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6 and fibre,” she adds.
And all you need is a spiralizer to turn raw zucchini into curly pasta noodles. Zucchini pasta works great in a salad or served with hot pasta sauce over the top.

White rice for cauliflower rice

White rice is a staple ingredient in many of our homes. While white rice is a delicious grain, it’s refined, which means the outer-layer of the grain (containing the nutrients), has been removed, and as you all know, it’s also high in carbs.
“White rice contains very little nutrition for a large amount of energy, often termed as ‘empty calories’,” Gemmell explains.
If you’re watching your waistline and looking to bump up your veggie-intake, cauliflower rice is a high-fibre, low-carb alternative to white rice that’s also packed with a number of vitamins.
“Cauliflower is an excellent source of antioxidants, particularly in those that are protective against multiple types of cancer and heart disease,” she adds.
All you need to do is grate the cauliflower florets until the texture resembles rice. Simmer in a pot of hot water over a medium heat for five minutes, it’s that easy!

Have you made these food swaps before? Are you trying to eat healthier this year?


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Safe, healthy and fit in winter!

It may be cold outside, but winter need not be the unhealthiest time of year for you and your family. Many people feel tired and sluggish during winter. This is due to the lack of sunlight, which disrupts our sleep and waking cycles. When it is cold and dark outside, it can be tempting to fill up on unhealthy comfort food. However, it is important to ensure you still have a healthy diet and include five portions of fruit and vegetable a day.
Carrot is a crunchy power food which contains vitamin A, B, B2, B3, C, D, E and K. Green peas are one of the most nutritious leguminous vegetables rich in health benefiting phytonutrients, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Cabbage has lots of vitamins and minerals, including folate and vitamins C and K. Cauliflower has plenty of other nutrients including vitamin C, folate, dietary fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. As you can see, there are so many ways to eat healthy mineral-rich vegetables in winter.
Colder temperatures that keep us indoors can result in body taking in less vitamin D than it receives during the summer, which is generated in our bodies via sunlight. For this reason, you need to ensure that your family receives enough vitamin D during the winter. Sources of vitamin D include fortified milk and other dairy products, eggs especially the yolks and fatty fish.
To chase away chills, replenish depleted glycogen stores, and rehydrate our body, enjoy warm carbohydrates with a little protein, such as hot cocoa made with milk, oatmeal with nuts, vegetable and chicken soup and lentil soup. The warm food, added to the thermogenic effect of eating, contributes to rapid winter recovery.
Our skin is an outside indicator for our internal health. Poor nutrition can lead to dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, scarring, acne breakouts, inflammation and pale or ashy skin tones. Eating a varied and balanced diet of whole foods consisting of 40-60% complex carbohydrates, 20-30% lean protein and 10-20% mono- and polyunsaturated fats will give our skin most of what it needs to run efficiently, but occasionally supplementation is needed.
The fruit and vegetables will provide the three most important nutrients for healthy skin: water, trace minerals, and antioxidants. Vitamin A deficiencies are characterised by dry, bumpy skin on the back of the arms, neck and back. Deficiencies of vitamin C result in tendency to bruise, sagging skin, and slowed healing. Iodine also prevents rough skin from developing and prevents premature ageing. Silicon is important in the fight against ageing because it aids in collagen formation. Zinc helps control the oil content of the skin and reduces acne. Omega-6 fatty acids promote healthy and moisturised skin.
When the temperature drops and winter arrives it is important to ensure that everyone in the family continues to eat healthfully. By following the mentioned nutrition tips you can keep your family fit and healthy while boosting your immune systems.


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Slight Fitness Gains Reduce Heart Attack Risk!

a woman does a handstand on the beach

Even a slight improvement in your heart/lung fitness could reduce your risk of a heart attack, a new study reveals.
Between 2006 and 2008, researchers assessed the cardiorespiratory (heart/lung) fitness of just over 4,500 men and women in Norway. None had heart disease, high blood pressure or cancer, and most were considered at low risk for heart disease over the next 10 years.
By 2017, however, 147 of the study participants had suffered a heart attack or developed angina, conditions caused by narrowing or blockage of heart arteries.
More investigation showed that the risk of heart attack and angina steadily declined as cardiorespiratory fitness increased.
"We found a strong link between higher fitness levels and a lower risk of heart attack and angina pectoris over the nine years following the measurements that were taken," said Bjarne Nes of the Cardiac Exercise Research Group (CERG) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.
"Even among people who seem to be healthy, the top 25 percent of the most fit individuals actually have only half as high a risk as the least fit 25 percent," he said in a university news release.
The study used a fitness calculator developed at CERG, which measures the body's capacity to transport and use oxygen during exercise. It found that for each increase of 3.5 fitness points, the risk of heart attack and angina decreased by 15 percent.
The findings suggest that even a small improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness can benefit heart health, the researchers said.
The study was recently published in the European Heart Journal.
Study first author Jon Magne Letnes said, "Our results should encourage people to use training as preventive medicine. A few months of regular exercise that gets you out of breath can be an effective strategy for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease." Letnes is a doctoral candidate in the university's department of circulation and medical imaging.
Sanjay Sharma, a leading expert in sports and heart disease, wrote an editorial that accompanied the study.
"There is apparently no upper limit for training when it comes to the beneficial effects for the heart," Sharma wrote. In addition to serving as medical director of the London Marathon, he is a professor of cardiology at St. George's, University of London.

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Monday 28 January 2019

NHS will charge healthy Brits for genetic tests that ‘predict dementia and cancer risk’

 Seriously ill patients will get the DNA test for free which will be able to predict the risk of diseases including Alzheimer's and cancer
HEALTHY Brits will be charged by the NHS for a genetic test that promises to predict the risk of cancer and dementia.

Paying patients will be offered a DNA test that will be able to come up with a forecast.
The DNA test promises to enable early diagnoses of diseases like cancer and dementia Testing will also be offered to seriously ill patients for free, with the Government planning to roll the scheme out to paying customers within a year.
Each will be given a health report but will have to share the data with researchers working to improve the understanding of diseases.
However, some doctors have questioned whether the plans could overwhelm hospitals and surgeries, and raised concerns that the analysis may not be accurate, according to The Times.
Genomics England, the DNA testing agency given the task of developing the test, said: “There will be detailed development work and planning to include the likely content of such an analysis, how this may be delivered to volunteers, and the potential consequences and benefits for the NHS.”
Various genetic testing kits designed to be used at home have become widely available, costing about £150.
The NHS will be offering whole genome sequencing for an estimated few hundred pounds, which will give a much more detailed examination.

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The drugs that lower your defences to common gut bug!

The drugs that lower your defences to common gut bug image

People are more likely to catch the common gut bug, C. difficile, after a course of antibiotics—but now researchers think that standard painkillers pose a similar risk.
The NSAID (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs) painkillers make Clostridium difficile infection more likely, and worsen the symptoms, which can include diarrhea, stomach pains and fatigue; it's also one of the most dangerous infections caught in hospitals and care homes, with the US's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimating that 15,000 Americans die each year as a direct result of infection.

It's known that people are more susceptible to the bug after a course of antibiotics that can disturb the bacteria in the gut, but researchers from the University of Michigan say that NSAIDs pose a similar risk.

Their fears are based on tests on laboratory mice, some of whom were given an NSAID. Just 20 per cent of those given a painkiller survived the infection, whereas 80 per cent of those not given the drug did so.


(Source: mBio, 2019; 10: doi: 10.1128/mBio.02282-18)

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Friday 25 January 2019

More vulnerable to stress in the evening?

New research has revealed that we're more vulnerable to stress in the evening, in comparison to the morning.
Our experts have provided their top tips to help you de-stress from the moment you wake up, to the moment you close your eyes.
If this is of any interest, or you would like any more information, please let me know.
Thank you!
Research reveals that we’re more vulnerable to stress in the evening
ways to de-stress your day from am to pm

Stressful events in the evening release less of the body's stress hormones than those that happen in the morning, according to new research.[i] This suggests that we are more vulnerable to stress in the evening, as less stress hormones are freed to help provide the body with the energy needed for the fight or flight mode.

Our experts are here to help you de-stress from the moment you wake up, to the moment you close your eyes…

Spring out of bed
“If you feel especially down on dark mornings, consider using a special light lamp alarm clock. The lamp gradually turns itself on (and gets brighter and brighter) to mimic natural dawn sunrise, to wake you up slowly before your alarm goes off. Research has shown people feel more positive and find it easier to get out of bed in the darker months after using this kind of device,” advises Nutritionist, Cassandra Barns.

Start your day with a smile on your face
Why not tell your family member a joke over the breakfast table? Having a laugh is one of the best remedies for stress and low mood - “laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the natural feel-good chemicals that make us happier and relaxed,” explains Dr. Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading Nutritionist and author of The Natural Health Bible for Women (www.marilynglenville.com).

Try having one coffee a day instead of 5
“Think about the amount of caffeine you are drinking either in coffee, tea, colas and energy drinks. Caffeine will cause a similar roller coaster effect as sugar can cause the release of the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol,” explains Dr Marilyn Glenville.

Avoid the sugary treats that are grabbing your attention
It’s 6pm, you’ve clocked out of work, hangry, and as you’re walking to the train station you come across shops filled with sugary goodies and you struggle to resist stocking up on these treats. Ring any bells? “We can be tempted to eat fats, refined carbs and sugary foods when it is cold outside and we are feeling sluggish. This not only creates weight gain, but reaching for these foods will only make us crash after the initial energy rush, creating a vicious cycle,” says Jacqueline Harvey, Wellness Expert & Author (www.jacquelineharvey.co.uk).

Top Tip: To help avoid giving in to temptations and crashing the moment you get home the Natures Plus KetoLiving Sugar Control Capsules (£29.95, www.naturesplus.co.uk) are here to help. The capsules support normal glucose levels, helping to eliminate those dreaded sugar cravings.

Swap stress for sex
“Sex can help to relieve tension, burn calories and help you go off to sleep faster. Sex begins in the head, your body’s physical reaction follows. A key part of starting that sexual idea with your partner is setting the mood and romantic music can help, as can low lighting, a candlelit bath, or your favourite romantic or raunchy film,” explains Dr Glenville. 

Don't be a late night worrier
Stress and sleep are closely related, if we do not get enough sleep we find it harder to function and when we are stressed we find it harder to get to sleep. If you’re a late night thinker it can be extremely difficult to break this cycle. 2015 analysis of previous studies concluded that CBD oil is a promising treatment for numerous forms of anxiety, including social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder[iii]

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5 Superfoods You Can Take with Coffee!

Representational Image

Representational Image

The intoxicating fragrance of the coffee is the first thing to wake a person from deep slumber. Indeed, its goodness can’t be denied. It consists of antioxidants which help in fighting against numerous diseases including lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.

As the coffee is gulp down, the entire heart and soul is relished and contended. The goodness of coffee can be enhanced by adding some superfoods with it. To know more about these superfoods which can be added to coffee for improving its benefits, one can find a doctor at docprime.
  1. Cinnamon: It is an amazing idea to sprinkle the coffee with some cinnamon which helps in improving the health of the heart and helps in maintaining the blood sugar levels. Cinnamon helps in enhancing the antioxidants and can help in cutting down the chances of heart diseases. Moreover, its awesome flavor can help in kicking away the nasty sugar and cream, as besides cinnamon nothing is desired in the coffee. Thus, it’s an excellent idea for lowering the calorie count in the coffee. For finding more about the benefits of cinnamon, one can find a doctor.
  2. Cocoa: One can try adding cocoa to coffee for a healthy chocolaty treat. The idea is not to melt the entire chocolate bar in the coffee. Yes, a bit cocoa can be added to coffee for improving its benefits. Unsweetened cocoa (the fermented seeds of the cocoa) has numerous health benefits. Cocoa has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which help in maintaining the cholesterol levels, boosting immunity, reducing blood pressure and maintaining type 2 diabetes. Even mocha can be made at home without adding sugar and drizzling it with some maple syrup for enhancing its taste and vitality.
The raw cocoa consists of a stimulant, theobromine which is a vasodilator. This means theobromine helps in widening the blood vessels and enhancing the flow of the blood throughout the body. The better flow of blood to heart and brain can result in enhanced energy. Raw cocoa is also rich in magnesium and iron which play a vital role in producing energy in the body.

Raw cacao contains a phytonutrient in abundance called flavonols. Flavonols are found to enhance visual and cognitive functioning. In addition to it, raw cacao has also been found to result in the rise in the flow of blood to the brain which helps in enhancing the functioning of the brain.

One of the other phytonutrient present in coffee in abundance is polyphenols. The studies reveal that polyphenols help in boosting mood by rendering calmness and satisfaction.

Although caffeine present in coffee can result in a rise in anxiety, yet, when it is mixed with cocoa powder it helps in reducing such anxieties and helps in boosting attention span. In case more information has to be drawn, one can find a doctor.

  1. Coconut oil: For all those who long for sweet coffee, why not ditch those hazelnut creamers and artificial sweeteners with vanilla essence and pick coconut oil for a tropical natural sweetness. There are numerous health benefits associated with coconut oil like it helps in losing weight and helps in avoiding the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It can also help in adding amazing flavor to the coffee and its creamy texture is beyond any comparison.
Coconut oil can also help in boosting immunity. It is rich in two fats, caprylic and lauric acid. These two fats fight against different types of infections such as fungal, viral, microbial and bacterial. Caprylic and lauric acid help in preventing the growth of harmful bacteria like candidiasis in the gut and helps in improving immunity. Coconut oil is rich in MCT oils (medium-chain triglycerides) which are exclusive short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids can be easily broken down into ketones in the body and helps in the immediate release of energy. To get more information about the goodness of coconut oil with coffee, a person can find a doctor.

  1. Butter: How about buttering the coffee? Great idea, indeed! In fact buttered coffee is gaining popularity among athletes, celebrities and even health-conscious people. The secret is that butter added to coffee helps in offering more energy to the body and helps in improving the functioning of the brain. Besides it helps in losing weight, especially for those who are on a ketogenic diet. For adding a slice of butter, one should opt for the butter taken from the grass-fed variety as it is richer in omega-3 and vitamin K in comparison to the normal variety. Find a doctor online, to know more about the benefits of butter with coffee.
  2. Cardamom: The “queen of spices,” cardamom is well known for its excellent rich and warm flavor. In ancient period, cardamom was used for treating diseases like gum infections and tuberculosis. It has antimicrobial properties which can help in counteracting with the bacterial infections like those caused by E.coli. Moreover, it is a breath freshener which can help the person to interact with anyone with confidence as there are no inhibitions due to bad breath. A person can find a doctor to find out how cardamom can be beneficial with coffee.
During the morning rush hours as the coffee is brewed, one should not forget to add the dash of one of these superfoods to enhance its goodness and vitality. Cardamom is rich in antioxidants and can help in maintaining the blood sugar levels and help in keeping heart disease at bay. Raw cocoa can be added to coffee for improving immunity, lowering the chances of type 2 diabetes, maintaining cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. Adding coconut oil to coffee helps in fighting against Alzheimer’s disease and helps in boosting immunity. One can add a slice of butter to coffee for increasing the energy levels and improving the working of the brain. Cardamom can be added to coffee for fighting against bacterial infections.

For finding more in this regard, a person can find a doctor. So, why not smell the coffee beans with some extra goodness of superfood in it to keep the disease and infections at bay.

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The nuts that supercharge your nutritional levels!

The nuts that supercharge your nutritional levels image

Hazelnuts can super-charge your nutritional status—especially when you're 55 or older.
The nuts help raise levels of magnesium and alpha tocopherol, or vitamin E, two nutrients that help protect against a range of age-related health problems such as Alzheimer's disease.

Eating a handful of the nuts every day for four months raises levels of both nutrients, say researchers from Oregon State University, who monitored 32 older adults—aged 55 and older—for four months.

As well as raising levels of the two nutrients, the hazelnuts also lowered levels of glucose, or blood-sugar, and LDL lipoproteins, often described as the 'bad' cholesterol.

Many people in the US are deficient in both nutrients, partly because they "don't like taking multivitamins, but hazelnuts represent a multivitamin in natural form," said Maret Traber, one of the researchers.

Hazelnuts are also a source of healthy fats, copper and B6.


(Source: Journal of Nutrition, 2018; 148: 1924)
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Functional Food The 5 Components That Make Every Meal Gut-Healing!

Photo by Robyn Youkilis
I created my Good Gut Rule of Five to show you exactly what to put on your plate at lunch and dinner. Eating in this way will ensure that you are getting a balance of both macro- and micronutrients, as well as my favorite gut-healing superfoods (which I talk about more in my book, Thin From Within). Aim to include one ingredient from each of the five categories that follow for a complete and balanced meal:

1. Greens:

Kale, collards, arugula, spinach, lettuce...I love ’em all. Aim to have at least two or three big handfuls of greens with most meals. Greens do it all when it comes to gut health and weight loss: They are packed with fiber, which helps fill you up and keep you regular. Plus, leafy green veggies are some of the most nutrient-dense foods, and when you are filling your cells with nutrients (I mean real nutrition, not just calories!), you have more energy and fewer cravings.

2. Healthy fat:

Avocado, olive and flax oils, almonds, butter from grass-fed cows (so the cows have healthy guts too!), and coconut oil all count here. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 to 2 ounces of nuts, or ¼ to ½ of an avocado at each meal for a good dose of flavor and satiation. Plus, fats are essential for proper absorption of most vitamins and minerals. I used to be terrified of fats, but now I include them at every meal and am lighter than I’ve ever been.
Photo: Robyn Youkilis

3. Protein:

Wild salmon, grass-fed beef, organic chicken, tempeh, sprouted lentils, and canned wild sardines are some examples of great go-to protein options. Protein keeps you full and stabilizes your blood sugar, so you won’t keep dipping into your raw chocolate stash or crash halfway through your afternoon meetings.

4. Fermented food:

Including fermented foods on your plate is the good-gut secret to weight loss through a healthy microbiome (you need all that great bacteria throughout the day to keep your digestion humming!). Examples include raw sauerkraut, fermented beets, fermented carrots or radishes, and kimchi. Try adding 1 to 3 tablespoons at each meal, and feel free to work your way up to ½ cup or more. If you’re not used to the flavor of fermented veggies, try mixing them with avocado to mellow the flavor.

5. Cooked vegetables:

Having a cooked veggie or two with my meal (in addition to greens) always makes the meal feel more grounding and filling. Roasted zucchini, broccoli, sweet potatoes, squash, and carrots are all examples of delicious cooked veggies, but this can really be any veggie. I try to roast a bunch of seasonal veggies at least once or twice per week so I always have some cooked veggies on hand and ready to go. If you’re on the run, many takeout spots and fancy restaurants have awesome veggie choices these days.
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Thursday 24 January 2019

Cold-Prevention Myths Won't Keep Your Kids Healthy This Winter (But Here's What Will)

These Cold-Prevention Myths Won't Keep Your Kids Healthy This Winter (But Here's What Will)

Credit: Shutterstock
"Don't go outside with wet hair, you'll catch a cold!" "Take vitamin C to ward off the sniffles." "Stay inside during cold season."
Chances are, you've heard these words of advice before, likely from your parents when you were little. Indeed, a new poll, published yesterday (Jan. 21), shows that many parents have tried these strategies to keep their kids from getting sick — even though there's little evidence that they actually work.
The poll, which was conducted in October 2018, surveyed more than 1,100 parents with children ages 5 to 12. It found that about 70 percent of parents tried to prevent their little ones from catching a cold by employing folklore strategies. For example, about 52 percent told their children not to go outside with wet hair, and 48 percent thought it was beneficial to encourage their child to stay indoors during cold season.
But these strategies have not been shown to make a difference with regard to catching a cold, according to researchers from the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. [25 Scientific Tips For Raising Happy (& Healthy Kids]
What's more, 51 percent of surveyed parents reported giving their child a vitamin or supplement, such as vitamin C or zinc, to prevent colds, but again, these products have not been definitely proven to prevent colds.
But the good news is that the vast majority of parents — 99 percent — also reported that they encouraged good personal hygiene in their kids to prevent colds. And this is a strategy that's is backed by science.
For example, 99 percent of parents said they encouraged their children to wash their hands frequently, 94 percent said they told their children not to put their hands in their mouth or nose, and 94 percent said they encouraged their children not to share food or drink with other people.

"It's important for parents to understand which cold prevention strategies are evidence-based," Dr. Gary Freed, co-director of the poll and a pediatrician at Mott Children's Hospital, said in a statement. "While some methods are very effective in preventing children from catching the cold, others have not been shown to actually make any difference."
The researchers noted that vitamins and supplements are not regulated the way that drugs are, and that they do not need to be proven to work in order to be sold. "These are products that may be heavily advertised and commonly used but none have been independently shown to have any definitive effect on cold prevention," Freed said.
Other folklore strategies, such as the idea of not going outside with wet hair, have likely been passed down from generation to generation without being confirmed by scientific studies.
The best strategy for cold prevention is for parents to focus on decreasing the spread of cold viruses through good hygiene, such as hand washing and avoiding direct contact with sick people.

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Tips to maintain exercise routines!

This is the time of year when many of us begin to let our New Year's resolutions start to slide.
In this month's Healthy Habits segment, Vidant Wellness Center Exercise Specialist Bronson Cline shares some tips for preventing gaps in our exercise routines.
There are actually new exercise guidelines from the American Heart Association for 2019.
For children:
The American Heart Association exercise guidelines now include “exercise” or simply activity throughout the day for children ages 3-5. It doesn't have to be structured and can simply be a variety of fun, active play. For children and adolescents 6 to 17, the recommendation is at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily with at least 3 days a week including some muscle and bone strengthening exercises, and at least 3 days of some vigorous aerobic activity.
For adults:
The recommendation for adults is at least 150 to 300 minutes a week of moderate activity, or 75 to 150 minutes a week of vigorous activity, with at least 2 days a week involving some muscle strengthening exercises. As we get a older, the recommendation doesn’t change, but adding some balance training is beneficial. Another change in the guidelines for 2019 is the determination that multiple short bouts of exercise are just as beneficial as one extended bout, which is good news for someone who doesn't have a ton of time to spend at the gym.

Bronson offers the following tips to stay on track:

1. Make exercise a priority
Exercise doesn’t have to be as structured as it may seem, and in fact there are many ways to avoid the boredom and possibly enjoy getting a little uncomfortable. Prioritizing you exercise is one of the most important things you can do, and structuring it into your daily routine, similar to showering and brushing your teeth.
2. Maintain accountability
If exercising alone seems daunting, try to rope in a friend or family member to do it with your or commit to supporting your efforts.
3. Consider taking a group exercise class
Group Exercise classes are a great way to have some structure as well as keep the fun factor alive, and if you frequent a class you WILL make friends who will also keep you held accountable.
4. Set realistic goals
Goal Setting is a great way to keep moving forward, but be sure the goals are small and obtainable, and they change as YOU change.
5. Consider personal training
Personal Training is another great tool to keep you motivated, make sure you are exercising safely, and tailor the workout specifically to you.

Lastly, always remember it is never too late to start exercising. Small daily changes like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking a few laps around your home or through your neighborhood are easy ways to increase activity.
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Wednesday 23 January 2019

The foods that cause heart disease (and it’s not saturated fats)

The foods that cause heart disease (and it’s not saturated fats) image Heart disease—or cardiovascular disease (CVD)—is a disease primarily of diet, but not of saturated fats as the cholesterol theory has maintained, but of processed, white-flour foods.
Eating a healthier diet—including more vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds—could prevent nearly half of all heart disease deaths. This would translate into 2.1 million fewer heart deaths across Europe, and more than 300,000 in the US, every year.
A bad diet dwarfs all the other causes of CVD, such as smoking, stress and a lack of exercise, say researchers from the Martin Luther University in Germany.
They analysed 26 years of data on diets and rates of CVD of 51 countries across Europe but couldn't see a connection to eating saturated fats from dairy and meat. Instead, they discovered the disease was caused by a combination of eating too few healthy foods, and too much processed food and drink.
Specifically, CVD deaths were linked to diets that were low in fibre—such as from fruits and vegetables—legumes, such as chickpeas and lentils, nuts and seeds, omega-3 fatty acids from fish and whole grains, but were high in processed meats, sugar-sweetened drinks and trans fatty acids.
The make-up of an average diet varied between the 51 countries; a lack of nuts and seeds was the strongest association to heart disease in Sweden and Norway, while central European countries suffered more from eating too few whole grains.
A poor diet affected men and women differently. Younger men were more likely to suffer from CVD as a result of a poor diet, whereas women were more susceptible only after they reached the age of 50. 
References(Source: European Journal of Epidemiology, 2019; 34: 37-55)
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Tuesday 22 January 2019

Can salt be healthy?

Salt is the most important ingredient used in cooking that enhances the flavour of other ingredients.  Food without salt is dull and tasteless. The dictionary meaning of Salt is – a white crystalline substance that gives seawater its characteristic taste and is used for seasoning or preserving food.
Yes salt is preserving the food. It enhances the taste of the food we eat. Every recipe includes salt. Every kitchen too has a salt box also known as Namakdani which contains the Namak, Mirch and Haldi (salt, pepper, turmeric).
Salt, also known as, Sodium chloride is an ionic compound with the chemical formula - NaCl, which represents a 1:1 ratio of sodium as well as chloride ions. Now the question here comes that whether salt can be healthy? The answer to this is YES!!
Hundred percent Natural Himalayan Salt is the ultimate blessing of Himalayas containing more than 84 minerals and elements that are found in the body. Crystallized over 260 million years ago due to high pressure and temperature by being locked under the Himalayas, it is free of modern day pollutants and toxins. This makes it the World`s Purest Salt. It is free of the anti caking agent and is the 100 percent Natural unprocessed and cleanest salt available to mankind.
The benefits are as it contains 84 plus minerals & Bio Compounds found in Human Body; It has low sodium which helps to increase blood circulation and lowers blood pressure. It gets absorbed in blood stream easily as compared to the regular sea salt; Most spa`s use it as bath salt to get your body relaxed. It relaxes the muscles and the mind which makes the body feel at ease. Mixed with hot water this salt helps you too transfer the toxins from healthy cells into the blood stream, ultimately pushing it out of the body; The negative ions emitted out of salt lamps or by mixing this salt in hot water clears up sinus issues; In some cases the usage of salt lamps in improving respiratory issues in the body including asthma; consuming this salt (Pink Himalayan Mineral salt)  mixed in hot water can help improve digestion and balance the pH of the body, making it more alkaline; with improved blood circulation this salt contributes toward clearing of the arteries.  
The interesting fact about the rock salt is that People from Bolivia to Poland have been doing it for centuries that using as the wall of the house or the office. The animals also lick the salt to get enriched with the minerals. 
The Himalayan salt in pink color can be procured from the Sareen Impex Pvt. Ltd., Sonepat, Haryana and Amritsar offices. It was the center of attraction at the Indus Food Expo at Greater Noida. It is also certified ISO 22000: 2005, HACCP (Food Safety)

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Monday 21 January 2019

Top 10 Superfoods of 2019, According to Dietitians!

A new survey asked more than 1,300 nutritionists what's trending—here's what they said.ZEE KRSTIC 
January 18, 2019                                                                                                                                                     m 
Many nutritionists will tell you that "superfood" is a loaded term—and, sometimes, the health halo associated with so-called superfoods isn't totally earned or deserved. But when asked to list the best superfoods right now, many nutritionists chose staples that aren't exactly "new", but rather a healthy part of any diet—fresh produce.                                                                                     A new annual survey published by Today's Dietitian and Pollock Communications asked 1,342 registered dietitians which foods they believe are the healthiest for 2019—or, the superfoods they believe consumers will go bananas over. In the past, Cooking Light has asked our lead nutritionist, Carolyn Williams, PHD, RD, to investigate ingredients like turmeric, matcha, and alkaline water that many on the internet had lauded as "superfoods," but it seems that nutritionists are now considering more routine items to have a better reputation overall.
Moringa Is a Trendy Superfood. Here's How to Actually Cook With It
This nutritious plant has actually been around for a while—and is used regularly in several South Asian cuisines. If you're looking to get the most benefit, skip the supplements, and cook with it.
"We are still seeing the consumer push for cleaner labels and the industry continues their work to deliver it," Jenna Bell, RDN, told Today's Dietitian. "It's beyond food is medicine; now, food is the core of wellness."
But Bell also points out that plant-based lifestyles have moved past a burgeoning trend into the mainstream; many items on the following list have grown, and interest in dairy has dramatically shifted.
The one noticeable change in this year's survey? Kale has fallen off the top ten list, while another non-dairy item makes its way onto it.
These are the top 10 superfoods to keep an eye on in 2019, according to nutritionists:
Plain Yogurt With Peaches
Cooking Light

1) Fermented Foods

Yogurt is a prime example of this category, as gut health continues to be one of the most innovative aspects of nutrition today. Consumers are interested in finding foods—like these four gut-healthy ingredients—that can help them reduce inflammation and detox naturally. If you're interested in resetting your microbiome with fermented foods, check out Cooking Light's 3-day detox plan.

2) Avocados

1811w Avocados
Getty: Marko Crnoglavac / EyeEm
While kale isn't on nutritionists' radar anymore, this creamy fruit still is—and for good reason. Avocados contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals including potassium, vitamin E, vitamin C, B vitamins, and folic acid, according to Jamie Vespa, MS, RD. Avocados are also chock full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and dietary fiber, with roughly 50 calories per 1-ounce serving.
And you can put them on much more than toast—here are 35 tasty ways to cook with avocado.

3) Seeds

1810w Sesame Seeds Evergreen
Adobe Stock.
From chia seeds to flaxseed and even hemp seeds, these small-but-mighty snacks are nutritional powerhouses. They’re loaded with dietary fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These are five seeds you should be adding to your diet immediately.
The healthiest foods you should be eating now:

4) Ancient Grains

Red Wine and Parmesan Farrotto
Jennifer Causey
Quinoa isn't the only wholesome grain you should be enjoying in 2019. Farro, a popular substitute for enriched pasta products, and teff, which is similar to millet, can be used to top salads, bulk up grain bowls, or in baking.

5) Exotic Fruit; Acai and Golden Berries

From acai to goji berries, these deliciously sweet options are solid sources of fiber, plus they’re rich in antioxidants and heart-healthy fatty acids. We love them in these healthy and delicious smoothie bowls.

6) Blueberries

Williams says this superfood contains high levels of phytochemicals—including flavonoids, anthocyanins, and resveratrol—that help the body combat inflammation naturally. Other research has shown blueberries to cut risk of heart disease and cancer, as well as memory loss. Not bad for a little berry!
7) Beets
Beets have been shown to help offset the risk of many chronic diseases due to their high levels of vitamin B, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.
8) Nuts
3 Reasons Why Tiger Nuts are About to Become the Next Big Superfood
Wikimedia Commons
Whether you choose almonds, pine nuts, pecans, or pistachios, nuts are one of the healthiest on-the-go snack options. We've previously published reviews of research tied to the nutritional benefits of consuming nuts (mostly due to their healthy levels of unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids.)

9) Coconut Products

1901w Chobani Vegan Yogurt
Photo courtesy of Chobani.
We were a little surprised to see this item make the list. In fact, recent research has led to an all-time low demand for coconut oil, which was once one of the most high-profile superfoods. Last year, the World Health Organization released new guidelines asking people to keep their saturated fat intake to less than 10g of day—so, keep that in mind when cooking with coconut oil or other coconut byproducts.
But our nutrition director, Brierley Horton, MS, RD, is a fan of coconut beauty products! And we're all big fans of Chobani's newest addition to the dairy aisle: coconut-based vegan yogurt products.

10) Non-Dairy Milks

1810w Oat Milk
Getty: Samson
We've watched as oat milk has slowly but surely surged to popularity in America (so much so, there was a hefty shortage last year!) But that doesn't mean people aren't sold on almond milk anymore, as it may be healthier than any other plant-based milk on the market. In fact, we've seen many non-dairy milks hit shelves this year, including pecan milk and macadamia milk. If you're looking for the perfect milk for your dietary needs, consider our nutritionist's guide.
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